Primary and post-primary school students showcase the power of One Good Idea to promote energy efficiency address climate change

Beech Hill College from Monaghan has been named the winner of the 2019 SEAI One Good Idea Competition. Their campaign was called ‘Practical Plastics’. The campaign aims to make a #plexit from all single-use plastics in their school. The group inspired their school to ban single-use plastic bottles and introduce reusable aluminium bottles instead. They also changed change all single-use plastic in the canteen to reusable or biodegradable alternatives. They made a film, and furniture and art from plastic bottles. This was designed to encourage the other students in their school to think about plastic pollution. Also to think about the energy it takes to create single-use plastics and the actions they can take to reduce it.

The primary winner was Burnchurch National School in Kilkenny. Their campaign encourages their community to reduce, repair, reuse and repurpose their t-shirts. They promoted the circular economy for greener fashion to save energy, minimise waste and make the most of natural resources.

20 finalists reached the SEAI One Good Idea National Finals, which took place yesterday in Dublin Castle. The SEAI One Good Idea Competition encourages students to create innovative campaigns. These can make a big difference in how we use energy in our daily lives. This year, over 200 campaigns were developed by young people all over Ireland.

It’s fantastic to see the passion and enthusiasm these students have shown in raising awareness. These are critical issues facing this generation. All of those who have taken part have encouraged their classmates, teachers, families and communities to make positive changes. That is an achievement they can all be proud of. Particular mention to the Burnchurch National School for their project on the circular economy. Also to Beech Hill College for their project on single-use plastics. These changes will make a real difference in their local communities.
Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment

8,000 students from primary and post-primary schools from every county in Ireland have been involved in making energy efficient changes. These changes are in their homes, schools and communities over the last eleven years of the competition.

Our One Good Idea competition highlights the determination of our country’s young people to contribute to a better, more sustainable future. SEAI One Good Idea empowers our young people and encourages leadership. It gives them a chance to have their voice heard in the national conversation we are having around climate change. I’d also like to thank the teachers who got their students involved in this important campaign. Young people learn by example, and you are setting a great example for our younger generations.
Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI
We are delighted and overwhelmed to be named SEAI One Good Idea winners 2019. The standard of all the projects was exceptional. Our #plexit campaign has provided all students and staff with a branded re-suable bottle. We have removed all single-use plastic from our school canteen. We are lucky to have great support from our management and staff in the school and Monaghan County Council.
Melanie Conlon, Teacher at Beech Hill College

A total of six awards were presented across three categories at the SEAI One Good Idea National Final. The other category winners included:

  • Senior Winner: Power Rangers, St Attracta’s Community School, Sligo
  • Junior Winner: Ready or not, it’s going to get hot, Schoil Mhuire Kanturk, Cork
  • Primary Runner-Up: Scooter Train, St Clare’s Primary School, Dublin
  • Primary Highly-Commended: The Veggies, Corpus Christi Primary School, Limerick